Congratulations! You’ve just had a beautiful new bundle of joy! Prepare for the happiest time in your life – and the most exhausting. There may be days when your baby cries all through the night. You’ve fed them, changed them, and done everything else you can think of, but no matter what, they just can’t seem to get to sleep. As exhausted as you are, it’s hard not to have sympathy for a crying baby. Isn’t there anything you can do to help them get to sleep, safely and naturally? You might try infant massage.
If you’re not familiar with infant massage, it’s exactly what it sounds like: gently massaging the baby’s limbs, muscles and joints to relieve tension. Most babies can be massaged as soon as they are born, and the practice offers a variety of benefits. For instance, that period of gentle contact is a great way to help you bond with your baby more effectively. Your partner can join in the process as well!
Even aside from forging a bond with your child, though, there are plenty of other benefits – both physical and mental. Not the least of those benefits is helping your baby to sleep.
A massage will help your newborn relax their muscles, as well as their mind. This alone is a great first step towards helping them to sleep. But in addition, massage can also help alleviate a lot of the other ailments that might be disturbing their sleep cycle.
It helps stimulate the digestive system, which can relieve things like gas and constipation. It also stimulates the circulatory system, which can help alleviate pain and cramps. And if your baby suffers from colic – i.e. crying frequently, or for an extended period of time (more than three hours a day), infant massage can be a great way to help calm them down so they can get a good night’s rest.
It probably goes without saying, but a massage for your infant isn’t the same as what you would get on a spa day, or what your partner does when you get those knots in your shoulders. It must be done very gently to avoid causing any harm to the child. It might behoove you and your partner to take a class in infant massage, to learn the different techniques and be sure you’re doing it properly, for maximum effectiveness.
Once you’ve got your technique, it’s important to establish a routine. Choose a specific time of day when you do it, such as just before bed. Turning it into a nightly routine for the whole family will not only aid in the bonding process, but also allow your child to associate that time with massage in their mind, helping them relax better and sleep even more soundly.
If you’d like to know more about the benefits infant massage can have for both you and your baby, feel free to contact me, and I’ll help you learn the massage routine that’s right for your baby!